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Visit Charle Gaba's new System Shootout site for the latest shootouts!


Desktop Shootouts
New!
(U.S. $):
Apple Desktop Lineup
Laptop Shootouts
(coming soon!)
$800
Laptops
$1,100
Laptops
$1,600
"Mini-Me's"
$2,000
Laptops
$2,600
Laptops
$3,000
"LapZillas"
Apple Laptop Lineup

Systems Configured: 7/19/2002
directly from Apple & Dells' EDUCATIONAL online stores.

Read the AAPLTalk System Shootout FAQ
All images and logos are copyright to the respective companies listed.

Attention Educational Computer Decision-Makers! Visit websites by John Droz and Kern Trembath for more information.

$1,000
(Institutional Purchase)
$1,200
(Institutional Purchase)
Company
Apple
Dell
Apple
Dell
eMac CD-RW
(Education Pricing)
Dimension 4500
(Education Pricing)
eMac Combo Drive
(Education Pricing)
Dimension 4500
(Education Pricing)
Design/ Styling
White Polycarbonate Shell
all-in-one design
Black/Silver Tower
White Polycarbonate Shell
all-in-one design
Black/Silver Tower
Weight:
CPU + Display + Speakers
50 lbs. total
60 lbs. total
50 lbs. total
60 lbs. total
Component Access?
access latch for RAM & wireless card ports
access latch for total component access
access latch for RAM & wireless card ports
"thumbscrew" access for all component access
(open debate on whether school computers should be wide-open for easy upgrades or semi-sealed to prevent student tampering)
(open debate on whether school computers should be wide-open for easy upgrades or semi-sealed to prevent student tampering)
Deskspace Used:
CPU + Display + Speakers
15.8" w x 17.1" d
270 sq. inches
appx. 26" w x 17.1" d
430 sq. inches
15.8" w x 17.1" d
270 sq. inches
appx. 26" w x 17.1" d
430 sq. inches
Noise Volume:
Moderate
(ultraquiet fan/
convection cooling)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Moderate
(ultraquiet fan/
convection cooling)
Loud
(cooling fan)
Energy Use:
Energy Notes
appx. 170 Watts total
appx. $37 / year
appx. 350 Watts total
appx. $76 / year
appx. 170 Watts total
appx. $37 / year
appx. 350 Watts total
appx. $76 / year
Processor:
Rating Notes
1.1 GHz P4
700 MHz
PowerPC G4 w/AltiVec
1.8 GHz P4
1.8 GHz
Pentium 4
1.1 GHz P4
700 MHz
PowerPC G4 w/AltiVec
1.8 GHz P4
1.8 GHz
Pentium 4
L1 Cache:
64k
8k
64k
8k
L2 Cache:
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
256K on-chip
512K on-chip
Memory Type:
SDRAM PC100
DDR-DRAM PC2100
SDRAM PC100
DDR-DRAM PC2100
Frontside Bus:
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
100 MHz bus
400 MHz bus
Memory Amount:
128 MB
128MB
128 MB
256 MB
Max RAM:
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
1.0 GB
(2 slots)
Hard Drive Capacity:
40 GB
20 GB
40 GB
40 GB
Hard Drive Type:
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Ultra ATA 66
Ultra ATA 100
Hard Drive Speed:
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
5400 rpm
7200 rpm
CD-Rom:
32x CD
48x CD
32x CD
40x CD
CD-RW:
24x10x CD-RW
--
12x8x CD-RW
32x10x CD-RW
DVD-Rom:
--
--
8x DVD
12x DVD
DVD-/+RW:
--
--
--
--
Floppy Drive:
No*
Yes*
No*
Yes*
Zip Drive:
--
--
--
--
.*(open debate on whether floppy drives are still useful for outdated school media or are a liability since they allow one more way to infect computers with viruses, etc.) *(open debate on whether floppy drives are still useful for outdated school media or are a liability since they allow one more way to infect computers with viruses, etc.)
PCI/AGP Slots:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 4
0 / 1
2 / 4
Internal Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
0 / 1
0 / 1
0 / 1
Other Bays:
Available / Total
0 / 1
1 / 3
0 / 1
1 / 3
Mouse Included:
USB optical mouse
2-button
scrollwheel mouse
USB optical mouse
2-button
scrollwheel mouse
(open debate on whether a single-button mouse is better for children since it's easier to use, vs. 2-button wheel mouse being better for older students, etc. Slight edge goes to 2-button mouse here) (open debate on whether a single-button mouse is better for children since it's easier to use, vs. 2-button wheel mouse being better for older students, etc. Slight edge goes to 2-button mouse here)
USB Ports:
(more = better;
on front/keyboard = better)
3 on CPU + 2 on keyboard
= 5 total
3 available
4 on CPU back
= 4 total
4 available
3 on CPU + 2 on keyboard
= 5 total
3 available
4 on CPU back
= 4 total
4 available
Firewire Ports:
2 On-board ports
--
2 On-board ports
--
Available Legacy Ports:
--
1 serial, 1 parallel
--
1 serial, 1 parallel
Graphics Card:
nVIDIA GeForce2 MX
ATI Rage Ultra
nVIDIA GeForce2 MX
ATI Rage Ultra
Video RAM:
32 MB DDR
32 MB
32 MB DDR
32 MB
Video Out:
VGA
VGA
VGA
VGA
2nd Monitor Support?
Video Mirroring
--
Video Mirroring
--
Display:
17" Flat-Screen CRT
(16" viewable)
17" Flat-Screen CRT
(16" viewable)
17" Flat-Screen CRT
(16" viewable)
17" Flat-Screen CRT
(16" viewable)
Max. Resolution Support:
1280x960
1600x1200
1280x960
1600x1200
Audio In:
Built-in microphone
Line-in
Line-in
Built-in microphone
Line-in
Line-in
Audio Out:
Line-out
(headphones/
external speakers)
Digital audio-ready
Line-out (headphones)
Line-out (speakers)
Digital audio-ready
Line-out
(headphones/external speakers)
Digital Audio-ready
Line-out (headphones)
Line-out (speakers)
Digital audio-ready
Speakers:
Integrated stereo
Harmon Kardon speakers
--
Integrated stereo
Harmon Kardon speakers
--
10/100 Base-T Ethernet:
Yes (integrated)
Yes (via PCI)
Yes (integrated)
Yes (via PCI)
56k Modem:
--
--
Yes
--
802.11b Wireless Ready?
802.11b ready
(card is extra)
802.11b ready
(card is extra)
802.11b ready
(card is extra)
802.11b ready
(card is extra)
802.11b Integrated Antennae?
Yes
--
Yes
--
Included OS:
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2;
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Professional Edition
Mac OS X 10.2;
Mac OS 9.2;
BSD Unix;
Apache Web Server
Windows XP
Professional Edition
Windows/DOS Support:
Windows 95/98/ME/ 2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
Windows 95/98/ 2000/NT/XP
(Native)
Windows 95/98/ME/ 2000/XP
(via Virtual PC)
Windows 95/98/ 2000/NT/XP
(Native)
Mac OS Support:
Native
(Mac OS 8, 9, X)
Via Basilisk
(OS 8 only)
Native
(Mac OS 8, 9, X)
Via Basilisk
(OS 8 only)
Linux OS Support:
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Unix OS Support:
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Native (Various flavors)
Word Processor Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
--
AppleWorks 6.2
(Word compatible)
--
Save-as PDF Support:
Native (any file)
--
Native (any file)
--
Spreadsheet Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
--
AppleWorks 6.2
(Excel compatible)
--
Presentation Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
AppleWorks 6.2
--
Database Software Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
AppleWorks 6.2
--
Drawing/Painting Program Included:
AppleWorks 6.2
--
AppleWorks 6.2
--
Calendar/PIM Software Included:
--
--
--
--
Planning/Project Software Included:
--
--
--
--
Web Browser Included:
Internet Explorer 5.2
Netscape 4.7
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 5.2
Netscape 4.7
Internet Explorer 6
E-Mail/Address Book Included:
OS X Mail
Outlook Express 5
Outlook Express 6
OS X Mail
Outlook Express 5
Outlook Express 6
Media Player Included:
Quicktime 6
DVD Player
Media Player 7 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Quicktime 6
DVD Player
Media Player 7 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Media Player 8
DVD Player
Quicktime 6 avail.
RealOne Player avail.
Financial Software Included:
--
--
--
--
Reference Software Included:
World Book
Mac OS X Edition
--
World Book
Mac OS X Edition
--
Digital Photo Management:
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert
iPhoto 1.1
Image Expert
Digital Video Editing:
iMovie 2
MovieMaker 2
iMovie 2
MovieMaker 2
Music Software/
CD Burning Software:
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
iTunes 3
Disc Burner
MusicMatch 6.0
Games Included:
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Chess
Mine Sweeper, Asstd. classic games
Additional Software Included
PCalc, Acrobat Reader, FAXstf., Asstd. system software
Acrobat Reader, Asstd. system software,
PCalc, Acrobat Reader, FAXstf., Asstd. system software
Acrobat Reader, Asstd. system software,
Virus Susceptibility/
Security Issues
45 known viruses
Built-in firewall
50,000+ known viruses
Built-in firewall
(see FBI warning)
90 day Norton AntiVirus
45 known viruses
Built-in firewall
50,000+ known viruses
Built-in firewall
(see FBI warning)
90-day Norton AntiVirus
Warranty:
1 yr. Ltd. Warranty
3 yr. Ltd. Warranty
3 yr. Ltd. Warranty
3 yr. Ltd. Warranty
Quality of Products & Service:
Consumer Affairs
Price as configured:
(Includes cost of all add-ons, rebates, etc.)
$999
$996
$1,218
$1,215

The information above is as accurate as I could make it based on a reasonable time studying the respective companies' Web sites. There is no guarantee that these configurations, prices, and features are the best that one could come up with; assorted bundles, free internet access, free extra memory, and so on can most likely be found for any of the above systems. The point of this chart is to demonstrate that Apple's lineup holds its own against any brand-name computer, even in areas in which it has traditionally had resistance. In short, do not base your purchasing decisions solely on this chart or information. Neither I, nor The Mac Observer will be held responsible or liable for any purchase decisions you make based on this presentation.

Charles Gaba started the AAPLTalk System Shootouts at AAPLTalk.com, and has brought them to TMO. Charles is the creative talent behind Brainwrap Web Design.

AAPLTalk System Shootouts Archives

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